One of the perks of driving for Al-Anabi Racing for 2013 NHRA Top Fuel champ Shawn Langdon: he’s now a world traveler.
“It was actually a great experience going over to Qatar for the first time,” said Langdon in a recent NHRA teleconference. “I've never actually been out of the country, so to take a 14-hour plane ride and to go somewhere, it was a very neat experience. Obviously, Sheikh Khalid and everybody over there took very good care of us. But our main thing not only of presenting the trophy to everybody in Qatar was also to go over there for the Doha Goals. It was a very important event that they were putting on to try to raise awareness for getting kids places to play sports and to have opportunities as a kid to have dreams and to have goals. It was a neat experience to not only go over there and see the country, but also to be a part of the Doha Goals.”
Langdon’s first Top Fuel title wasn’t his first NHRA title – he also has title in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series – and he definitely wants to add another championship to his resume very soon.
“Just to win that Mello Yello Top Fuel Championship was a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Langdon. “I'll definitely wear that number one proud on the side of our car. I think last year we had the hopes of contending for a world championship. We knew we had a great car and we still feel that way. So we're just going to basically keep doing what we're doing. We're obviously proud of what this Al-Anabi Team accomplished last year, but we don't want to sit on it for too long. We need to keep progressing. All these other teams are playing pretty good catch up. They're making good runs as well. So we can't sit around and pat ourselves on the back too much or these guys are going to pass us up. So we have to keep working hard, keep at it, and keep trying to keep this team at the top.”
As a life-long racer, Langdon is eager to get back on the drag strip for the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, which kicks off Thursday through Sunday, February 6th through 9th at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in California.
“I love this sport. I love drag racing, so the two months that we have off, it eats at me,” admitted Langdon. “It's tough. I'm champing at the bit to get back out there. So I was definitely excited to get back out there to South Florida and we were able to make some good runs. The track was tricky at times. The first day we had to work on it a little bit, but as the weekend progressed, the track progressed as well, and the track got to be really good. So we were able to throw down a 372, which, obviously, it just goes to show that we still have a good handle on the car with even having a couple months off. But, yeah, it's not easy sitting around when you're used to racing 20 weeks in a row during the middle of the summer and then you have two months off in the off season, you kind of get to twiddling your thumbs a lot.”
Keep up with the off-season at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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